October 23

Live as if everything you do
will eventually be known.

Hugh Prather


Today's Meditation:

I long ago gave up on the idea that I can do anything that won't be found out.  No matter what my motivation for doing so, I've learned that everything that I do eventually becomes known by someone, and therefore it's important that I do only those things that I'm fine with other people knowing--especially where other people are concerned.  There really are no secrets, after all.

But what I like about Hugh's words is the fact that he's not talking about living this way just to preserve your good name or to stay out of trouble.  What he's giving is advice that will help us to consistently make decisions that are healthy and worthwhile, decisions that will make us people and that won't allow us to things that are destructive or harmful.  If I constantly make decisions based on the assumption that others will know what I've done, I don't have to do so just to preserve my good name in their eyes; rather, I do so because I want to lead a good life.

Sometimes it's very hard to see which decision would be best, especially if one might benefit us in ways that are possibly unethical or that present a double standard.  I would take Hugh's words even further to say "eventually be known to a very young person who trusts you completely to do what's right."  In that case, my decisions will be much, much easier to make.

I don't think we even have to live "as if," for the truth is that all that we do is known by us.  And while I don't recommend being harsh judges of ourselves, I do think it's important that we have some kinds of standards that we can live by, and that we can apply to our lives so that our decisions are easier, better, and more able to stand the tests of time and scrutiny.

Questions to consider:

How often do you think about others finding out about things that you've done?  Does that often help you?

What's the difference between fearing the judgment of others and wanting others to recognize the good in you?

What does it mean to you to think that everything you do eventually will be known by others?

For further thought:

Peace of mind just can't be bought.
Trust me:  Even if your conscience
doesn't stop you from playing dirty
to get what you want, once you get
it, it will keep you from enjoying it.

Patti LaBelle


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